Just as your business has its own set of jargon or industry-specific terminology, so does the software industry! If you are searching for accounting or payroll software, the likelihood of hearing these terms is fairly high. Be prepared to speak with software representatives by understanding these key terms, and you will have a better chance of your needs being understood and met.
Application: This term is used to refer to a software program, as in: That application works well for processing invoices.
Compatible: Where software is concerned, compatible refers to whether applications can work well and exchange information together. Is this new payroll system compatible with the time clock we are already using? This can also refer to whether this software can run on a particular computer.
Customizable: There are two references of “customizable” in the software world. The first is the ability to alter the settings of a program to meet your specific needs, such as adding or omitting fields of information or creating and saving your own templates for later use. The second use of this term refers to open source code products. When customizing an open source product, you can actually change the software code within the program, potentially changing its functionality permanently. I like our new software because the invoice designs are customizable.
Dashboard: Just as your car’s dashboard shows you information about operating your vehicle, a software dashboard displays your most important menu options and tools available for operating your software system. This is typically the screen you see first when opening your program. The dashboard within this system makes it really easy to do my job.
Demo: Of course this is a shortened version of the word demonstration. A demo usually provides an opportunity to view a software package’s functionality, whether in video format, guided online or live tour, or even a trial version of the software. The demo really helped us gain an understanding of what it’s like to use that program.
Driver: A software program that, when installed, helps your computer understand how to use a hardware device. Once we installed the driver, we were able to use the new mouse right away.
Feature: Options or tools for functionality provided within a software program. Our new software program has more features than our prior program, allowing us to enter and pull out information in a way that fits our company better.
Interface: An interface refers to the direct communication between two software products. Many accounting software applications have an interface to payroll software applications, allowing you to post data with a few simple clicks. Interface can also refer to the way in which a software application is presented to the user as in: The user interface for that program makes it easy to navigate and use.
Intuitive: This refers to how easy it is to operate a system without training. The system was so intuitive that I felt at ease using it after only a short time.
Legacy Products: Just as our ancestors have built a legacy, so have the age-old software products that have stood the test of time. In the software world, legacy products are those that have become outdated, yet may or may not still be supported. Though newer software is now available, he chose to stay with his legacy software program.
Migration: While you may associate this term with birds flying south, in the software industry it refers to the transfer of data from one application to another. A software company can often migrate your data from an older application to a newer one.
Module: This refers to each software element that performs a distinct function, usually each of which can stand on their own without depending on other elements. The software company just added a ratios module which greatly enhances a company’s ability to see where improvements are needed.